(Part1) – In the backdrop of the recent pro-LTTE protest against the Sri Lankan’s President’s visit to the United Kingdom, I intend to look back at the mass protest staged by the pro-LTTE Tamils at the British Parliament in 2009 and recall what happened at that time, in order to evaluate the anti-Mahinda policies of British Politicians who rely on Tamil support. Wiki leaks have already shed light on the involvement of David Milband and I may leak another episode regarding the Labour politician Robert Evans, who championed for Tamils and had acquainted LTTE terror leaders in Killinochchi.
Unlike other labor senior politicians Robert Evans may have used the Tamil card for political mileage but his desperate attempt to secure a place in the European Parliament was thwarted by Janani Jananayagam , a pro –Tamil nationalist candidate who entered the fray with a back up of the LTTE and split the block of Tamil votes. This incorrigible racial politics of Tamils in the West parallels that of Sri Lanka and conveys their inability to integrate into the majority communities
In the election campaign Mr. Robert Evans had a closed door meeting with a section of high society Tamils in Kingston where he expressed his condescension’s of Mahinda Rajapaksa , and Douglas Devnanda . He also expressed his “fear” like most of the Tamil asylum seekers in the UK that he would be killed in Sri Lanka. Ironically, those asylum seekers could return to Sri Lanka having obtained British passports but Robert Evans may not, as his name was on the hit list. I may berate his blunders but discerning readers will have more to say, in their interpretation of his cynical comments. Here is an excerpt of his speech.
“I have been to the Vanni , one of the few politicians who have been there, I have been to Elephant pass, Mullikadu, Mullitheevu and places which have been laid to waste like killinochchi where people who I have spoken to and met have died. What we must do now is keep the pressure on the Sri Lankan government, you asked me whether I was allowed to go there, and I can tell you that I am not welcome. The last time I was there, just before we left we had an official meeting with the president.
I can remember he was wearing rings on his fingers, and he kept banging the table and he said “There are no human rights issues in this country” Well you all can see what is happening now. When we asked about journalists being able to move around the country, he said “journalists are free to move and free to say what they want” But we know this untrue. We know that the Sri Lankan army has committed crimes, war crimes. The word genocide has been used but I am not sure about the definitions of that. We know absolutely that they have bombed hospitals, places where there have been men, women and children, civilians, and we are not posing a threat to the Sri Lankan authorities. I think it is desperately naïve of them to think that the problem has been solved, That’s what they think, you see pictures of people in Colombo waning flags,, even from their point of view.
Unless the SL government can answer the allegations of war crimes that they bombed hospitals; Unless and Until they can satisfactorily answer these questions, and I don’t think they can but I am giving them the opportunity, we as British and Europeans should not encourage tourists to go to Sri Lanka, nor should we send cricketers there. You can read ads in the British newspapers tomorrow inviting tourists to go to the pearl of the Indian Ocean, with beautiful culture, heritage features and walks, which I doubt is all true but there is another side, a murkier side of the Sri Lanka government which I don’t think we should encourage.
Sadly as a keen cricketer, I don’t think we should send cricket teams there either, just like we didn’t send cricket teams to Pakistan, South Africa, and Zimbabwe when we disapproved of the regimes. I don’t think we should be giving justice to Sri Lankan government. The regime in Sri Lanka has got blood on its hand. Blood all over it, we, the International Community should not encourage it, and for what it is worth I have enormous sympathy with you the Tamil community because although the fighting may have stopped the political communities are stopping the work for Sri Lankan people. Goodness knows, the Tamil people need our support. I have been to Parliament square several times and stood with many of you with solidarity.
There are a number of possibilities. One possibility is that as time goes on, the Tamil people will go back to their homes. But the anger and dissatisfaction is there, people will begin to attack the Sri Lankan government. I’m not saying that that should happen but the anger will accumulate and the inbuilt anger. The other possibility is that the Sri Lankan government will properly establish democratic rights and the Tamil community will allow people to vote for whom they wish and will have proper representation.
That does not mean setting up puppet governments like they did in the Eastern Province, nor does it mean that Douglas Devananda can be given charge of the Northern province. All the people in the north of Sri Lanka will vote for who they vote for , like the EPDP and Douglas Devananda, its their votes, so be it but I don’t think for one minute that they would do.
I have met him several times and let me say that I don’t warm to him. So if they are going to set up democratic vote and allow a regional/provincial government then they have to let people vote freely whether its for the TNA or a new political party , they’ve
got to let allow the language to flourish, the culture to develop allow supplies to be given. If they can do that, show people that they have democratic rights, there may be a possibility for (inaudible) If you look at the other countries with problems around the world, like Northern Ireland, that is not the same, but it is similar to religions who are fighting each other with their governments and both communities.
If you look in the Middle East you have Palestine and Israel and they haven’t made a solution but that is another parallel situation. All Tamils should not be scared in Colombo that they are going to be stopped and arrested , detained or disappear until they do that the Sri Lankan government will not have moved forward in they way that they ought to.Until they do that they cant say that they eradicated terrorism from the island . I think it is desperately early to say that Sri Lankan ….. (Inaudible) is an American citizen, he should be extradited. I am not going to Sri Lanka in a hurry because to be honest I think that I would be mysteriously run over if I did , I mean I would be. When I was speaking (sic) to Sri Lankan authorities, calling for a ceasefire, they were absolutely livid with me , and the Sri Lankan ambassador said “You watch your steps “and they are quite capable of having me run over in the streets
Don’t think that the demonstration in parliament square was not of immense value, it was. It forced the Tamil issue on the news, we have spent years trying to get the Tamil issue on the newspapers and they didn’t want to know. When there are hundreds and thousands of Tamils on parliament square, stopping traffic illegally but stopping traffic it got on everyone of the papers and the forced the government to think about what was happening; I’m not going to condone illegal behavior, you wouldn’t expect me to.
It was very successful from that points of view so don’t underestimate that. Now what you have to do is to talk and explain to politicians, and politicians who are not on board. I have been labeled a white tiger, and the Sri Lankan government has definitely got me on their marked list of people, they think I have been getting instructions directly from killinochchi, that’s nonsense, but that’s what they think. I have been
to Sri Lanka l, been to the Vanni and I have seen the problems of the Tamil people I’m sure everyone of you is a pacifist and if you went out her and saw a Sinhalese person on the floor you would be horrified. The Tamil community have to talk to politicians who are not aware of the situation and explain to them what is going on because believe me there are lots of politicians who don’t know what’s going on.”
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